Guyana-born US businessman Edul Ahmad who pleaded guilty in 2012 to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud is now scheduled to be sentenced on March 4, 2016 in a New York court.
He was originally due to be sentenced on January 15, 2016 but this was later deferred to February 12 because of the need for more time for the pre-sentencing report (PSR). Sentencing has now been pushed back to March 4th to facilitate a request from his lawyer.
According to court documents seen by Stabroek News, Ahmad’s lawyer Steven Kartagener wrote to the presiding judge Dora Irizarry stating that scheduled surgery would mean that he would not be in office until the middle or end of January. He then asked for a date in March and this has now been granted.
The January 15th date could not be kept as due to an oversight, US Probation Officer John Lanigan was not notified to prepare the offence conduct section for the PSR until October 9, 2015.
At the point of his guilty plea in October, 2012, Ahmad faced a sentence of 10 years in jail and US$15M in fines and restitution. Since then, Ahmad has been a cooperating witness in several cases brought by the US against public officials including most recently New York state senator John Sampson. It is thought that with his cooperation in the cases, Ahmad could be facing a much lighter sentence.
There has been great interest in Ahmad’s case here because of his ties to former President Bharrat Jagdeo and his business interests. He operates a hardware establishment at Industrial Site, Ruimveldt which once used to be the headquarters of the PPP-aligned Mirror newspaper.
In December last year, Judge Irizarry ordered Ahmad to make all payments of a forfeiture money judgment to the tune of US$500,000 by certified or bank cheque. The order was part of the agreement Ahmad made with the state following his October 10th, 2012 guilty plea.
A realtor, Ahmad had been detained on charges that he operated a US$50 million mortgage-fraud scheme in Queens, New York.
Three alleged co-conspirators in the mortgage fraud scheme—Ahmad’s cricket friends and employees—were also indicted in an associated case.